I do not want to rush to judgement on the video of a South Carolina police officer shooting a man in the back. From all I have seen it appears as if the officer, Michael Slager, murdered the suspect but the officer will get his day in court and perhaps there is some valid reason for what happened. From what I saw it seems like it will be hard to find that reason.
I heard Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee on Sean Hannity’s show on the way home. Clarke and Hannity were discussing this shooting and Clarke stated he would not allow this shooting to be used to put down all other cops in America by any person.
Strong words there sheriff. You don’t get to decide what people use this shooting for. If they want to use it to indict all cops that is there business and nothing you can do will change that. How many cops use incidents by a few people to label all people of a certain group as bad? How about we work to make sure they don’t do that?
I like Sheriff Clarke and I agree with many of his views. I think that he probably used a poor choice of words and his intent was that he would not entertain that kind of thinking. I doubt, given his views, he meant that he would not allow people to express themselves as is their right.
In any event, I think people should question what took place in this incident. This police officer appears to have really crossed a line. It should be looked at and viewed from a wider angle.
I would ask a few questions. First, what would have happened if this incident had not been recorded? I think we know the answer to that. The police report filed by those involved showed it as a justified shoot. The officer lied on the report. It is unclear if the second officer lied because there is no way to know what he saw since he arrived later.
The officer lied and the police were ready to call this a good shoot when the recording arrived. Some guy walking to work saw it and recorded it. The recording contradicts everything the officer said. So I ask again, if there had been no recording what would have been the outcome?
He would have been free and clear. It would have been ruled a clean shoot and he would be on the street today. The recording made the difference.
To address Sheriff Clarke the second question would be how many times has something like this happened and it was ruled a clean shoot because there was NO recording? How many times have police officers gotten away with murder simply because there was no recording, the report was a lie and there were no other witnesses (though realistically a witness is useless when questioning the police as their word is always regarded as more truthful)?
I know there are plenty of good men and women in the police force who try to do a great job everyday and many of them are disillusioned by ticket quotas that are nothing more than revenue generators. But there are bad ones and lots of them. They get away with things because they lie and because the other officers will not speak up against them. The blue line is think and most officers will not cross it to do the right thing. When they protect the ones doing bad things they all get a bad rap.
As they should.
In this incident the police officer was fired and has been charged with murder. I think that is a correct thing to do and he will get his day in court. I know if I shot some guy running out of my house in his back and killed him this officer would be the first to arrest me for murder. His badge and uniform do not shield (see what I did there) him from the consequences of his actions.
At least not when there is recorded evidence.
Otherwise he would have walked…
Never surrender, never submit.